Monday, January 21, 2013

Trouble With The Curve

Clint Eastwood has perfected the role of the old curmudgeon character in recent years while he has also become one of the best directors with his skill in storytelling.  However, he has struggled in combining the roles and one or the other tends to suffer.  Robert Lorenz oversees all aspects of the films produced by Clint Eastwood and for "Trouble with the Curve" they worked with first time writer, Randy Brown.

Gus (Clint Eastwood) is a baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves that much like "Moneyball" suggests that the old ways of recruiting are not the way of the future.  This opinion is lead by Phillip (Matthew Lillard), a young scout with aspirations of becoming the General Manager someday and would like to see Gus retire.  Fortunately his friend, Pete (John Goodman), the head of scouting department gives Gus one more opportunity to scout a prospect for the upcoming draft.  Pete recognizes that Gus may have more issues then he is letting on and asks Gus's estranged daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams), to go with him. Mickey decides to put her work on hold to go with him and she wants him to explain why he pushed her away. While the two of them are scouting a kid they meet Johnny (Justin Timberlake), a scout from the Boston Red Sox.  As Mickey lets her guard down, her and Johnny develop a relationship giving her the courage to confront her father about why he abandoned her as a child.

Handing over the duties to direct allowed Clint Eastwood to explore the grizzled and tired old man with an estranged daughter hiding the emotions of what has happened in the past to protect the innocence of a bright future for his daughter.  His performance is truly brilliant and is only complimented by the youthful charm of Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake.  Unfortunately, the script left more to desire as it was filled with cliche after cliche (what else do you think the title of the film implies) of finding the diamond in the rough proving that the sure thing isn't always the brightest in the bunch.  Leaving so much of the troubled relationship between Gus and Mickey a mystery didn't translate into an emotional delivery when the answers are finally revealed. 

With the cast I wanted to enjoy the film more, and the performances gave me what I had hoped.  However, the script was lacking and the secondary story of Mickey and Johnny just isn't necessary.  Ultimately the film meets the criteria of a 3 Quack film.

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